Unique, "one of a kind", an expression of creativity is sometimes hard to find. Those who live in larger cities might be surprised to find treasures that the Lake Charles area offers.
Recently, I located a treasure and an expression of Southwest Louisiana culture and history.
When you visit Eighty-One located at 3708 Maplewood Drive, Sulphur, Louisiana, you temporarily travel back into yesteryear via vignettes scattered throughout the shop of stories written by Pierre on Cajun lifestyle and history.
Those familiar with the legend of Contraband Bayou and the basis of Contraband Days might think that the owner of Eighty-One, Pierre Fontentot, had discovered a significant portion of the famous pirate's "stash."
I went into this shop for the first time in search of 2 vanities. Specifically, I was in search of an antique into which I could drop a basin.
Creativity (just as the sign posted in front proclaims) abounds within the walls of Eighty-one. I did not find my antique, but together we found wonderful parts and designed my vanities that day.
I asked Pierre how he came to name his antique shop eighty-one as I felt sure there was an interesting story to be heard.
You will learn to appreciate the warm, friendly smile that slowly flows across Pierre's face as he tries to decide which tale he will share with me.
He finally gives me an anthology of tales and says he often switches as to which one he recites.
Sometimes in a jovial mood he will state that his establishment's name equals his IQ - NEVER believe that.
The most likely source is that in the early years of traveling to various antique shows he repeatedly drew the same number as to the location in the roster; "eighty-one". When it came time to name his shop, it just seemed logical, after all the years of success on the road with the number, to name his shop eighty-one.
You will see a sign posted on the front of the shop that states, CREATIVITY. This is an understatement.
And, Pierre was living "Green" long before it became fashionable.
He has a warehouse full of wonderful found objects, along with the antiques that he combines to make wonderful art objects that flow beautifully with any décor.
Pierre proves that almost any item can have a second life if you put your thinking cap on, thus, the source of my "one of a kind" vanities.
I am posting several photos of Eighty-One here knowing that my Texas friends will be highly interested in this spot on the map, and, since one of the major "perks" of my job helping those relocate to the Lake Charles area is to help them get to know all of Southwest Louisiana, I will soon post even more photos of Eighty-One on Derenda.com.
I have seen the equivalent of Pierre's art work in many boutiques in Houston, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, etc. at a much greater cost. I am very pleased that Pierre is building the two vanities and they will be UNIQUE; not one of 10,000.
See photos of Contrband Days and other Lake Charles activities at Derenda.com.